More companies are moving to a hybrid cloud model to combine the stability of the private cloud with the on-demand capabilities of the public cloud. Companies are exploring this option to improve disaster recovery, avoid the costs of hardware and full on-premises solutions, and as a means to transition to a fully public cloud model, according to a recent Tech Pro Research survey.

Hybrid cloud can be an effective solution for businesses with a focus on security or unique physical presence demands, as noted by ZDNet. Overall, it allows companies to leverage public cloud services without offloading all of their data to a third party, providing more flexibility while still protecting sensitive assets within the company firewall.

Between 2016 and 2017, Microsoft and Amazon maintained their market shares as the leading hybrid public vendors, according to Tech Pro Research.

We surveyed the TechRepublic CIO Jury panel about their company’s cloud usage. When asked, “Does your company currently use a hybrid cloud solution?” nine tech leaders said yes, while three said no.

SEE: Special Feature: The Art of the Hybrid Cloud (ZDNet)

“We are currently using a hybrid cloud, and expect to increase or grow the use of the hybrid cloud over the next few years,” said Dan Gallivan, director of information technology at Payette.

“It is challenging for us to maintain our own data center with the level of protection, cost, and staffing required,” Gallivan added. “It is more cost effective for us to purchase the services from the cloud vendors, offers us better protection, increases uptime. The hybrid model allows for business continuity and improved disaster recovery coverage.”

Dustin Bolander, CIO of Technology Pointe, said that his company has two of its own data centers, but uses Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well.

At Sheppard Robson Architects LLP, IT director Simon Johns uses AWS S3 for unstructured data storage, with Cloud File System controllers on the edge of their data centers. The organization also uses Azure for all other workloads, VMs and databases, Johns said.

Along with using a hybrid cloud model, David Wilson, director of IT services at VectorCSP, said that his company is also moving its email to a hybrid system “for better redundancy.”

Cory Wilburn, CIO of the Texas General Land Office, said that most of the organization’s storage and services are still on premises. “But for all new initiatives, we look at cloud first, and only source it in our data center if the cloud is not a fit,” Wilburn said.

Those who are not currently using a hybrid cloud model cite a number of different reasons, including cybersecurity.

“We are considering the option, but the main concern is the rash of ransomware attacks in the healthcare sector,” said Inder Davalur, group CIO of KIMS Hospitals Private Limited.

Michael Spears, CIO and chief data officer of the National Council on Compensation Insurance, said his organization is working toward implementing hybrid cloud for more flexibility. “Our immediate focus is on transforming our entire Windows and Linux architecture to a true private cloud to take advantage of compute and storage optimization while lowering costs,” Spears said. “From there we will leverage public cloud services where it makes sense and gives us expanded options for things like disaster recovery.”

This month’s CIO Jury included:

Michael Spears, CIO and chief data officer, National Council on Compensation Insurance

Jeff Focke, director of IT, Shealy Electrical Wholesalers

Simon Johns, IT director, Sheppard Robson Architects LLP

Shane Milam, executive director of technology infrastructure services, Mercer University

Paul Furtado, vice president of IT operations, Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies

Dustin Bolander, CIO, Technology Pointe

Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office

Inder Davalur, group CIO, KIMS Hospitals Private Limited

David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP

Corey Peissig, vice president of technical operations, Optimal Blue

Dan Gallivan, director of information technology, Payette

Gene Richardson, COO, Experts Exchange

Want to be part of TechRepublic’s CIO Jury and have your say on the top issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director, or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic’s CIO Jury pool, click the Contact link below or email alison dot denisco at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.